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Ocean Soup: A Book of Tide Pool Poems
Ocean Soup: A Book of Tide Pool Poems
By author: Stephen R. Swinburne   Illustrated by: Mary Peterson
Product Code: 
Binding Information: Hardback 
In Stock
Price: $16.95
Check out the hilarious Ocean Soup videos starring Steve Swinburne.

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Dive in for a taste of tide pool soup!

When the tide goes out, a briny soup is trapped among the rocks. Playful poems introduce readers to ten salty tide-pool creatures--from a self-satisfied anemone that brags about its home to barnacles that perform a rap about their feeding technique. The poems are brought to life by Mary Peterson's lighthearted illustrations.

A secondary layer of factual text introduces children to the creatures that inhabit North American tide pools.

This book is good for your brain because:
Life Science, Poetry, Ecosystems and habitats, Tide Pools

Download the cover image!

If you like this book, you'll love these:
  • At Home in the Tide Pool
  • Bubble Homes and Fish Farts
  • Underwater Alphabet Book

  • Also Available As:
    Binding Information: Paperback 
    ISBN: 978-1-58089-201-8
    Availability: In Stock
    Price: $7.95

  • CELI Read Aloud Book Award

  • Reviews
      Booklist - January 1, 2010
    This brightly illustrated, large-format book offers a collection of poems in the voices of tide-pool animals, including the barnacle, sea urchin, sculpin, mussel, starfish, hermit crab, anemone, and lobster. Each species is presented through first-person verse and a paragraph of information. For instance, in "Hairy Doris," a sea slug introduces herself in four verses beginning and ending with "Hello, my name is Doris. / I'm a shell-less gastropod,/ but you can call me 'sea slug,'/ if gastropod sounds odd." On the facing page, a few sentences comment on the animal's appearance, senses, and feeding habits. A colorful large-scale illustration stretches across both pages. Clean, curving pencil lines with digitally added colors portray the animals in child-friendly, cartoon-style pictures. A glossary and a list of recommended resources are appended. Swinburne, whose science writing includes Saving Manatees (2006) and Armadillo Trail (2008), shows his lighter side here, in pleasing and sometimes amusing verse.
      Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book - February 10, 2010
    The eleven poems in this collection introduce young readers to the different types of marine creatures that can be found in a tide pool. Each one recites a rhymed verse that gives the reader a little insight into its watery lifestyle.

    While a starfish shares the fact that it can regenerate a lost arm, a sculpin addresses its dinner - a tasty, little shrimp. After enjoying each poem, the reader should also look at the short informational paragraph that accompanies the selection and gives a little more information about the sea creature.

    An ideal way to combine reading time with a simple natural science/marine biology lesson, this nicely illustrated picture book will hopefully make your youngster wish to know more about tide pools and the wonderful critters that inhabit them.
      Book Loons - February 7, 2010
    "Tide-pool soup is really good,
    a most delicious snack.
    But careful! When you take a bite,
    This soup might bite you back.
    Crabs will pinch and urchins poke.
    It's rough out there - no joke!"

    Entitled The Soup That Bites, this is the introductory poem in a rousing collection of rollicking verses about tide-pool creatures. Ten additional poems follow that will introduce youngsters to a range of marine creatures from starfish, hermit crabs, and mussels to sea urchins and plankton.

    Combining humor with facts about these tide-pool inhabitants, the author explains that the "bully of the tide" is the lobster who loves to "nosh on crabs and starfish" and also gnaws on clams. Another hungry critter with different culinary preferences, the barnacle waits for the tide to bring plankton to him which he then "filter feeds" upon.

    These playful poems along with the factual material that accompanies them, makes this a picture book that not only entertains but introduces youngsters to some rudimentary facts about tide-pools and the critters who call them home (or at least drop in for a visit or perhaps for dinner!)
      Roundtable Reviews for Kids - February 6, 2010
    Take your child tide-pooling with this picture book that features a series of humorous poems about the denizens of the coastal shoreline. Clinging to the rocks and hidden in watery crevices you'll find barnacles, sea slugs, sea urchins, sculpins, mussels, starfish, plankton, hermit crabs, anemones, and lobsters.

    All of these critters have a story to tell. Along with their rhymed verses with funny titles like "I Love My Spines" (sea urchin) and "Room With a View" (anemone), you'll also discover some factual material about each tide-pool poet. There's also a starfish's interview with an octopus and a short glossary.

    Touching on conservation, environmental awareness and marine biology, this colorful picture book is the ideal way of preparing your child for a day at the beach. Introduce him or her to these wonderful creatures during story time before you get down-and-wet at the seashore. And, above all, remember that what you find in a tide-pool, STAYS in the tide-pool! No souvenirs!
      Publishers Weekly - February 8, 2010
    Appearing as googly-eyed cartoons, sea creatures discuss life in the tide pools in these lighthearted rhymes. Hairy Doris, a sea slug, is proud of her unusual appearance ("I'm really rather lucky that/ I have no pesky shell./ Behold my lovely body--/ I'm a stunning tide-pool belle!") and in a poem called "Regenerate," a starfish is casual about losing an appendage: "A crab comes--SNIP!--there goes my arm./ Rude, yes, but I'm not alarmed." Brief paragraphs provide factual tidbits, though the focus is definitely on fun.
      School Library Journal - April 1, 2010
    Poems about sea creatures that inhabit tide pools are accompanied by googly-eyed, often comical, cartoon representations of each one, along with a short note describing a few of its characteristics. Many of the selections are quatrains with rhyming second and fourth lines. Barnacle, sea slug, sculpin, mussel, starfish, lobster, octopus, and more--each describes its own habits in first-person verse, some with a refrain tagged on: "Scuttle to the left, scuttle to the right./In my new shell, I'll scuttle all night." (The hermit crab). Critters are painted in bright pastel colors--yellow, yellow-green, pale and bright pink, red, and shades of blue. Their distinctive shapes are clear, and characteristic details, such as spines, tentacles, and suction cups, are included. Each spread features a humorous poem, several illustrations, and information about the creature. More fun than purely factual, this collection is an additional choice for poetry sections.
      Simply Science Blog - July 29, 2010

    This book of rollicking poems presents ten tide-pool animals in witty, irreverent poems, with a section of brief facts about the animal spaced in between the bright, cartoony illustrations. After an introduction to the tide pool with a poem and facts, the animals presented include barnacles, sea slugs, sea urchins, sculpins, mussels, starfish, hermit crabs, anemones, lobsters, and octopus. The book ends with an explanation of plankton and back matter includes a glossary, author's note, and resources.

    Tide pool animals aren't often the inspiration for poetry, and the fun, humorous treatment of this group of animals should appeal to a range of kids. The book would be a good way to introduce children to the animals in a tide pool or before going to an ocean museum. Good readers might prefer to read it on their own. The language in the fact section is definitely for upper elementary science and would be a great way to open a science lesson on habitats or invertebrates. I can also see it done as a Reader's Theater or class presentation–picture the costumes. Tide Pool poetry isn't the usual science or poems, and that's what makes this book a fun choice.

      California Kids! - May 1, 2010
    Each page of this amusing book has a poem about a tide-pool denizen and tells us a bit about the creature. What lives in a tide-pool? Sea urchins, barnacles, starfish, anemones, and hermit crabs. Each animal speaks in its own voice. The sea urchin: "I love my spines, I really do. If you were spiny, wouldn't you? They're long and sharp and very green. My mother says to keep them clean." The poem "A Starfish interviews an Octopus," gives the reader (and starfish) some unexpected information about these three-hearted, suckered cephalopods. The colorful art is kid-friendly, rendered in a bright, appealing cartoon-style. A glossary and resources round out this pleasing offering.
      Abby (the) Librarian - March 26, 2010
    If a starfish interviewed an octopus, what questions would it ask? Do mussels ever get sick of living so close together? And what the heck is a "gastropod", anyway? In Ocean Soup: Tide-Pool Poems we'll hear from all these creatures and many more. Bright illustrations of tide-pool creatures, complete with anthropomorphic expressions, accompany the lively poems in this seaside collection.

    Some of the poems worked better than others for me, but overall this is a good collection. And it fits in perfectly with this summer's collaborative Summer Reading theme.

    My favorite of the poems is probably Hairy Doris. Here's a snippet:

    Hello, my name is Doris.
    I'm a shell-less gastropod,
    but you can call me "sea slug,"
    if gastropod sounds odd.

    Don't you think I'm gorgeous?
    With my raspy tongue I scrape
    for bits of healthy food to eat.
    A slug must watch her shape.

    This is an example, too, of how Steve Swinburne incorporates facts into each poem. Also, a short blurb accompanies each poem giving a few more facts about the animal in question.

    Steve talks about the inspiration behind Ocean Soup over at Unabridged, the Charlesbridge blog.

      NC Teacher Stuff - September 9, 2010
    Where are you, octopus?
    Hiding in a crevice, trying to catch some z's,
    waiting to greet you with a saltwater squeeze.

    Ocean Soup is a clever blend of science, poetry, and humor that will entertain students and provide teachers with a versatile nonfiction text that can be used for shared reading with younger students and for reader's theater with older students. Author Steve Swinburne's poems focus on creatures found in a tide pool. Each poem is accompanied by an informational paragraph about the subject of the poem. One of my favorites is a poem titled Old, Cold Fish which features a camouflaged fish called a sculpin that opens its large mouth to pull in water and unaware victims. The back matter for this book has a glossary, an author's note, and a page of resources that will be valuable for further instruction on tide pools. As if that isn't enough, an added bonus is Steve Swinburne's humorous reading of selections from Ocean Soup. Click on this link to view this talented guy in action. If you use Ocean Soup for reader's theater, definitely check out the videos to model for your students how to put more oomph in their performance.

    This book is a collection of poems told from the point of view of different sea creatures. Each poem has been beautifully illustrated by Mary Peterson. The illustrations are colorful and fun. With each poem is a little blurb about the page's creature. There is a glossary in the back along with a bibliography of other places children can go and find out more about the animals in this book. This is not only a fun book but one that will teach children about the creatures of the deep.
      Yellow Brick Road - December 1, 2010
    Swinburne's tribute to the sea ranges from the lyrical to the funny, including a rap by a barnacle. There is sound information here and even a Glossary, Author's Note and Resources at the back to tell readers more.